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Fairfield University Question & Answer

Whether you are a current undergraduate or graduate student, an incoming student, a parent or guardian, faculty member, staff member, or in any way involved in the Fairfield University community, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to remain an integral part of our campus life. Below you will find a host of helpful questions and answers regarding Fairfield’s plans, including important items on services, facilities, and events and programming.

As our community prepares to return to campus life, we will continue to update these FAQs, so please check back regularly for new and updated information.

Summer 2021

This summer, Fairfield University is excited to offer a variety of in-person youth programs for all ages and levels. Learn more about youth programs.

Weekly Covid-19 surveillance testing requirements will remain in place. All employees coming to campus who are not vaccinated for Covid-19 or otherwise exempt must continue to test weekly. Non-vaccinated students engaged in research, internships and/or summer employment on campus will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.

Yes. Orientation for the Class of 2025 will consist of a series of virtual presentations the week of June 14, 2021 and one-day on-campus sessions occurring the weeks of June 22-30, 2021. For more information, visit fairfield.edu/orientation.

Masks are optional for vaccinated visitors. All attendees are highly encouraged to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 before coming to campus for their session, and all attendees will be asked to provide proof of vaccination and/or a negative result for a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of their session. Being fully vaccinated means being at least two weeks out from receiving the second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or at least two weeks after receiving the single Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shot.

Students must upload proof of vaccination to their Student Health Portal or email testing/exemption documentation to covidhealth@fairfield.edu prior to getting to campus. Guests should bring all documentation with them to campus, which will be reviewed during the check-in process.

Deadline dates are outlined in the May 6 email posted here.

General University Procedures

Masks are optional for vaccinated visitors. Individuals without masks will be asked to leave classes or dining halls etc. Once a community member enters a private space — a residence hall bedroom, a private office, or while eating — masks may be removed.

Students who have been vaccinated should upload their medical documentation here. Any student that is having difficulty may call the Student Health Center for assistance or email the documentation to health@fairfield.edu and we will upload it.

For faculty and staff who have been vaccinate, please submit proof of vaccination to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu.

For the remainder of May and throughout June, weekly Covid-19 surveillance testing requirements will remain in place. All employees who are not exempt must continue to test weekly.

All University community members are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza (flu) as per CDC guidance. Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever. It will reduce the risk of serious flu illness and help prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with Covid-19. If you have not yet received your seasonal flu vaccine, please do so prior to your return to campus.

To best protect the health and safety of our employees, Fairfield has made several changes to campus facilities to ensure proper hygiene, education, and workspace well-being:

  • Signage has been installed throughout campus to remind employees of the importance of personal hygiene, social distancing protocols, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and personal protection requirements, as well as resource numbers to call for assistance (e.g., 211 State Covid-19 phone line).
  • Where necessary, we have reconfigured work areas to align with social distancing requirements.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensing stations have been installed throughout all campus buildings to encourage proper personal hygiene.

In anticipation of reopening campus to Fairfield students, faculty, and staff, the University’s facilities department surveyed the heating, cooling, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of each building on campus to determine air change and ventilation rates, as HVAC systems can help mitigate the spread of viruses by ensuring the proper number of air changes in a space and by introducing the proper amounts of outside air into the space.

Newer buildings such as the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies have the code required air changes and are equipped with direct outside air systems (DOAS) that introduce conditioned (heated, cooled, and dehumidified) and filtered air into the space. Renovated buildings such as renovated Quad Dorms, Canisius Hall, and Donnarumma Hall have the air changes and included the introduction of DOAS units. The remaining campus buildings were evaluated to ensure that the HVAC systems are fully functional and achieving the required air changes as well as the outside air. On a selective basis for facilities with older HVAC systems, the University has introduced bi-polar ionization technology to further enhance the air quality. This technology has proved effective in the past on pathogen reduction, particle reduction and odor reduction.

After completing this comprehensive review of the HVAC systems for all campus buildings, the systems operate as designed and provide adequate air changes as well as the percentage of fresh outside air to maintain healthy environments. The dorms have operable windows and fan coil units that provide appropriate air changes regardless of whether they are air conditioned or not.

Our Facilities Management Department has reviewed the floor plans and furniture layout for every classroom, laboratory, and simulation space in the various academic buildings to determine appropriate spacing in each location to accommodate six-foot distancing among each student and the instructor. Faculty will use this information as they construct the weekly course meetings for the fall semester to properly accommodate and ensure in-person engagement opportunities with all students throughout the semester.

The furniture in all classrooms is being reorganized to accommodate the required 6 feet of physical distance between students. As a result, the number of students meeting at any one time in a classroom will be approximately 50% the typical classroom capacity. Additionally, excess furniture has been removed. Every classroom has been supplied with hand sanitizer as well as wipes for cleaning surfaces. Hand sanitizers have been placed in public areas across campus.

A safe on-campus experience at Fairfield is our utmost priority. Masks must be worn at all times indoors. Individuals without masks indoors will be asked to leave classes or dining halls etc. Once a community member enters a private space — a residence hall bedroom, a private office, or while eating — masks may be removed.

Masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting Covid-19 to others. Thus, in accordance with CDC guidance, use of such masks on our campus is not acceptable. An acceptable facemask will be provided if the student or employee does not have an alternate facemask available.

In order to address the increased need for cleaning and sanitization, Fairfield is providing cleaning sprays and disinfecting wipes near common areas and equipment such as printers, copiers, and coffee machines, so that shared equipment can be wiped down before and after use. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning on campus, with special attention given to shared spaces such as restrooms.

We also ask that employees refrain from using their colleagues’ desks, phones, and computers when possible. If such use occurs, please disinfect the shared item after.

Bathrooms in first-year and sophomore-year housing options will receive a thorough cleaning three times per week in addition to typical maintenance and cleaning. Plexiglass barriers have also been installed at sinks and urinals. Bathrooms in townhouses and on-campus apartments will also receive thorough cleaning in addition to being equipped with an array of cleaning supplies.

Testing & Contact Tracing

Weekly surveillance testing will continue through the summer semester. All employees coming to campus who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 or otherwise exempt must continue to test weekly. Non-vaccinated students engaged in research, internships, and/or summer employment on campus will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.

f you are not vaccinated against Covid-19 and have been in close contact, such as within 6 feet of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 15 minutes and do not have symptoms:

  • You need a test. Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested. Students that think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact the Student Health Center. Employees should contact their private health care provider.
  • Even if you test negative, students or employees who are considered closed contacts will need to be under surveillance (quarantine) and away from others for 10 days. When possible, students will be encouraged to go home. If not possible, students will be under surveillance in University provided accommodations. Meals will be provided. Students should continue their classes remotely. Daily check ins will occur by university staff via phone, email or text. The accommodations have a security detail presence.

Throughout the semester, the University will engage in contact tracing by Student Health Center registered nurses. University contact tracing will align with the directives of the Fairfield Health Department, the Johns Hopkins University contact tracing training, and the State of Connecticut training for patient privacy. All students diagnosed with Covid-19 will be contacted by a registered nurse and interviewed. This interview will focus on identifying any close contacts of the student with Covid-19.

Students who are considered closed contacts will need to be under surveillance for 10 days. When possible, students will be encouraged to go home. If not possible, they will be under surveillance at a local hotel. Meals will be provided. Students should continue their classes remotely. Daily check ins will occur by university staff via phone, email or text.

Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms from Covid-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from Covid-19 illness. Look for emergency warning signs for Covid-19. If you are showing any of these signs or symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Call Public Safety at 203-254-4090 or call 911. Notify the operator of your symptoms and that you may have Covid-19.

If feeling sick, students can visit the Student Health Center located in the heart of campus, attached to Jogues hall within the residential quad. In addition to Covid-19 related health concerns, they will provide comprehensive health services and mental health support for eligible students seven days a week. Please note: the Student Health Center has limited services during the summer months. Our registered nurse will be able to conduct a phone consultation and refer students to community health care providers as needed.

Yes, Covid-19 testing is available at the Student Health Center for eligible students with possible Covid-19 symptoms and for students exposed to someone with Covid-19.

Please note: the Student Health Center has limited services during the summer months Our registered nurse will be able to conduct a phone consultation and refer students to community health care providers as needed.

In addition to the Broad on-campus test, we will accept results from private Covid-19 PCR or antigen tests. Students who are tested by an outside provider should submit their test results to covidhealth@fairfield.edu or fax to (203) 254-4263.

For University Health Plan participants, the cost of these tests are covered under the University’s medical plan. Private test results only must be submitted to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu.

If you test positive for Covid-19 infection, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medication, and with improvement of other symptoms. When possible, students will be encouraged to go home to isolate. If not possible, residential students will be in isolation in University provided accommodations. Meals will be provided. Students should continue their classes remotely as tolerated. Daily health check ins will occur by a Student Health Center registered nurse via phone or telehealth. The accommodations have a Security detail presence.

Students do not need a follow-up negative test to return to work or school, as long as

  • You did not require hospitalization, AND
  • It has been at least at least 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms, AND
  • You have been cleared to return to the campus community by the Student Health Center clinician.

Isolation will be required for all individuals who have a confirmed positive Covid-19 test result. Unvaccinated students who are considered closed contacts will need to be under surveillance (quarantine) for 10 days. Students will be encouraged to go home to isolate or quarantine.

Fairfield’s Tracking Dashboard includes both those participating in this surveillance testing and all other diagnostic/contact-traced testing. Fairfield has implemented a color-coded system that enables the University to respond appropriately to changing campus health conditions and enact mitigation efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The dashboard will be updated once a week during the summer semester.

Graduate Students

Any graduate students in hybrid programs in the Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies and the School of Education and Human Development will need to continue with weekly testing until otherwise notified. This is the case with faculty and staff coming to campus on an irregular basis, as well. These important measures help us better protect the health and welfare of all members of our community.

Please track your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and/or call the Student Health Center at 203-254-4000 x2241 for guidance.

 

You can find a comprehensive guide to academic and graduate student support services, including information for mental health counseling, health insurance, IT support, the Library, and other services, on the Graduate Student Life page.

At this time, we strongly recommend that students take advantage of the online resources available to them, including Ask a Librarian, home delivery options, and other features provided by the Library; remote fitness options provided by the RecPlex; online mental health counseling through UWill; and virtual events offered through the Quick Center for the Arts.  

Remote and fully online students who would like to come to the campus for any in-person activities may do so provided they complete the same protocols asked of our other campus members: 

  1. Contact your Assistant/Associate Dean first to submit a request
  2. Complete a negative Covid-19 PCR test through your personal healthcare provider and submit the results to covidhealth@fairfield.eduwithin 48 hours of your intended first visit
  3. Complete on-campus Covid-19 testing every week that you visit campus, even for a single day out of the week. 

Test results will be connected to your StagCard which will be required to enter the campus. Students who miss a weekly Covid-19 test on campus will have their StagCards inactivated and will not be permitted onto campus until completing steps 1-3 again. 

Prospective Students

For updated visit information, please review our Campus Visit Information page. We also offer virtual options. Take a Fairfield Virtual Tour, schedule a virtual information session, or schedule a meeting with an Admission Counselor.

Employees

Work/Life

Employees are EXEMPT from testing if:

  1. They are not coming to campus at all, and/or
  2. They have submitted proof of a positive Covid-19 test taken within 90 days. Please note that vaccinated individuals must continue to test at this time.
  3. If they are fully vaccinated and submited proof of vaccination to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu.

In the case of a positive test, a healthcare professional will be in contact to provide instruction and guidance on quarantine requirements and when it is safe to return to campus.

All University community members are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza (flu) as per CDC guidance. Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever. It will reduce the risk of serious flu illness and help prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with Covid-19. If you have not yet received your seasonal flu vaccine, please do so prior to your return to campus.

Visitors are required to bring and wear face masks or face coverings, unless doing so would be contrary to their health and safety due to a medical condition. If an employee has a visitor on campus, they are responsible for ensuring their visitor’s compliance with PPE requirements.

For any questions regarding the proper use of PPE, please contact Joe Bouchard, Director of Environmental Health & Safety/Fire Marshall, at jmbouchard@fairfield.edu.

The CDC defines ‘immunocompromised’ persons as those considered to have the greatest risk of infection caused by airborne or waterborne microorganisms. If an employee believes they are an immunocompromised individual or at high risk for severe illness from Covid-19, please contact COVIDHR@fairfield.edu to request accommodation now or in the future.

The University’s transition to remote work was a response to a unique situation. Due to the scope and emergency nature of the pandemic, most employees were allowed to work from home on a temporary basis. However, remote work was never intended to replace working on campus permanently for any position, and the expectation is that all employees will return to work on campus.

Employees may address individual arrangements with their managers. Please remember that working from home is not and should not be viewed as an alternative to dependent care arrangements or to sick days, medical leave, or any other time off.

With rare exception, University roles are campus-based, and the expectation is that all employees will return to working on campus. However, we recognize that individual department needs may vary. We encourage employees to work with their managers to identify whether some modifications to in person work requirements may make sense.

We also encourage employees to review the University’s Telework Policy, which highlights some of the concerns and expectations related to remote work.

Faculty and staff should not bring their children to work during working hours. The University is a workplace, and the work of the campus is best accomplished in an environment that promotes employee health, safety, and student learning, with minimal disruption. This rule is intended to protect the safety and wellbeing of our community members and the children of those members. We recognize that unforeseen circumstances impacting daycare arrangements may arise. 

In such circumstances, employees should discuss arranging time off or other alternatives with their supervisors. Please review the University’s Children in the Workplace Policy for more information.

Working from out of state raises a number of tax, legal, and financial issues for both the employee and the University. The University is only registered to do business in a small number of states in addition to Connecticut. While some states granted exceptions last year due to the pandemic, most such “amnesty” exceptions have expired.

Please contact your manager and Human Resources to discuss any concerns. We also encourage employees to review the University’s Telework Policy, which highlights some of the concerns and expectations related to remote work.

ADA Accommodations

The University granted remote work requests based on a number of reasons last year, in light of the gravity of the pandemic. Now that vaccines are widely available and people are comfortable and familiar with following safety protocols, the need for such broad grants has lessened. Therefore, the University is returning to its standard practice of reviewing requests for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA accommodations must be based on an employee’s own health conditions – not on the health conditions or vulnerabilities of household/family members.

The employee should contact HR@fairfield.edu to initiate the request. They will be asked to submit documentation supporting the request, and reasonable accommodations will be discussed as appropriate.

The ADA protects all qualified employees who have a physical and/or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of a disability, or who are regarded as having a disability. If a condition affects an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions, he/she may request a reasonable accommodation.

Under the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.

Essential functions are tasks that are fundamental (i.e., not marginal) to the performance of the job.

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job and/or the work environment which enables an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as someone without a disability.

Safety Measures and Repopulating Workspaces

The University installed Plexiglas throughout campus while most employees were working remotely. However, if an employee feels that their workspace requires additional Plexiglas, please (1) discuss with manager and then (2) create a work order. Facilities will supply and install.

Work orders can be created through login.myschoolbuilding.com.

Please (1) discuss with manager and then (2) contact Curt Krushinsky at ckrushinsky@fairfield.edu regarding any office reconfigurations. Curt will create work orders if needed.

Employees are welcome to bring and use their own hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes for personal use, but it is not necessary. The University has supplied all work areas with hand sanitizer dispensers and disinfecting wipes. If more product is needed, please create a work order for replenishment by Facilities.

The University provided all employees with reusable cloth masks at the start of the pandemic. Employees may use those masks, or they may supply their own cloth or disposable masks.

We will continue to follow applicable safety guidelines, including those regarding social distancing, masking, and meeting sizes. We view safety as a shared responsibility among the community. If an employee is uncomfortable with the practices being followed in your department, they should speak with their manager. If the manager is unable to assist or if the employee has concerns outside their department, they may contact Human Resources at COVIDHR@fairfield.edu. Please be assured that employees will not suffer any negative repercussions as a result of raising safety concerns.

 

Testing and Vaccination Issues

Yes, the University plans to continue weekly testing. As more people become fully vaccinated, we expect that the current 3-day testing schedule will be reduced. At this time, we do not know what percent of the population we will be testing. Testing requirements are subject to change based on State and DPH guidance and campus positivity rates.

Please send a copy of the vaccination record to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu. Once two weeks have passed from the documented date of complete vaccination, the employee will be excused from the University’s ongoing testing requirement. If the employee does not submit documentation of vaccination, continued testing will be required.

IT Information

Please bring the loaner computer that you were provided, along with the power cord, to the Conference Room in Dolan Commons - DLC Room 101. Please do not return to Human Resources. ITS will be there to accept returned equipment from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Friday July 9 and Friday July 16.

No, once you return to working on campus, you must return all loaned equipment (e.g., computer, laptop, MiFi device, monitor, speaker, power cord, mouse). Please bring the equipment to DLC 101 as described above.

Please return all ITS loaned equipment by July 16.

Yes. Please email Janka@fairfield.edu to alert IT that you have been authorized to continue to work remotely and will need to continue to use the loaned equipment.

Please make sure to save all your files to your Dropbox folder while you still have the loaner computer. Once you have returned to working on campus, you can access the files via Dropbox. See https://wiki.fairfield.edu:8443/display/ITSKB/Dropbox+How-To+Articles

No. ITS does not sell computer equipment. For information regarding computer purchases, please visit https://wiki.fairfield.edu/display/ITSKB/Fairfield+University+Buy-A-Computer

Please contact the ITS Helpdesk at itshelpdesk@fairfield.edu or call 203.254.4069.

Alumni & Friends

Stags for Stags gifts support the current needs of students who are financially challenged by providing critical financial aid, physical and mental health care, academic response for online learning, and personalized spiritual guidance.

Visit fairfield.edu/stagsforstags to learn more.

Partnering with the Career Center is another great way to help Stags. You can help launch Fairfield students’ and recent graduates’ careers through the Hire a Stag program. The program encourages alumni and friends to post jobs and internships on Stags4Hire, participate in virtual or in-person events like Career Fairs, Job Mock Interviews, Job Shadow events, and much more.

Learn all of the ways you can assist with students’ careers by visiting the Career Center’s For Alumni page.

You can stay connected with us by visiting fairfield.edu/alumnievents and attending virtual gatherings, checking the Stags Come Home page for updates, or subscribing to receive Fairfield News@ publication.

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